Showing 13 comments
On a recent drive passing by I noticed after years, they fixed up the onstreet signage and bought new letters so they could complete the movie titles now. I was surprized because they are second run, they have 10 screens and the use of film is just about over with. Wondering what is in the plans with digital conversion. There’s no way they could convert 10 screens charging $2 a ticket.
I grew up in Bristol, indeed it was a single screen. As a child fond memories, a dollar would get you a ticket,a popcorn,soda and hershey bar. You knew the movie was about to start when you saw the manager go to the stage to open the curtain.In high school it was my first job. I sold concession and cleaned, at that time it was still a single screen.The concession stand and popcorn warmer was actually bought at the auction of the equipment of the Majestic in Providence.One event i’ll never forget was opening weekend, the film was “Airport”.For some reason they put up masking for a scope picture,well they did it without testing the picture size.When the film started, the picture overlaped 4 feet on the bottom. I had to go up on the stage and infront of the sold out audiance, pull the masking down.The early 70’s the theater was twined,each day cement masons came in to build a cinder block wall, and at the end of the day we came in to fill the blocks with sand,i guess to keep the sound from bleeding through.After the twining,it will be remembered as the theater with the couches.Couches were installed instead of seats.As for me, I always will remember the manager walking down front and the big red velvet curtain opening.
From time to time I check in to see new comments. The Castle is still standing,although in ruff shape. Seeing the marquee gone is sad.I assume it was removed for safety reasons.I remember the summer I spent up on a ladder, gently removing the neon letters, scraping off the chipped paint and gently replacing each letter. It was important or me to have the “Castle” letters light the night. When we sold the theater in 2000, the marquee was in decent shape. Over the years the front had been hit by city snow plows,but it was always repaired.
I beleive this is listed in the current issue of Boxoffice for sale.
I read on a site that AMC holds the lease for another year and will just let it run out keeping the building unused. It would seem the location of this cinema could be a sucessful operation, if the lease was reasonable or the building could be bought, by an independant operator. The major chains just don’t want to be bothered with a 3 screen older building. But this theater seems an ideal situation for an independant operator. With the right bookings and alittle refreshing I bet this place could be quite sucessful.
There used to be a company in Boston. Allstate seating, they are in Quincy. But it may be cheaper to get a good used theater seat. A google search will help you out. Good luck.
So sorry to see it close. Worked there in the late 70s as a projectionist then as a manager. Back then we had 70mm, weekends were packed. I’LL always remember the 4th of July it was pouring out,so people headed to the Bristol parade ended up here instead. We sold out every show every screen that day. People camped out in the lobby, by 4 in the afternoon we ran out of candy and soda.
Yes thats true, about the booth. I trained there but never worked there. It was winter. You walked up thru the back of the balcony out a door back up a few stairs(outside fire escape)not for one afraid of heights and into the booth.
Yes Nick, its me. Hope things going well for you. Very long time.
Remember going to see Cinerama on a school trip…..I was 8 or 9. Who knew later in my life I would work there. Worked there as a fill in projectionist. Remember it well, the theater was one of the better twin jobs i’ve seen after working in so many theaters. The floating screens were a nice concept. And although twined we were still set up to run 70mm. Remember Nick booking Star Wars, 2001, Sound of Music. But that projection room..in one we had a xenon lamp and platter which was not motor driven…it was air driven, noisey and the other we had carbon arc with 70/35. In the winter it was cold and in the summer it was hot. At that time SBC leased the Cinerama and owned Castle. I bought the Castle from them. To bad they didn’t own the Cinerama property, would of bought that instead.
The Strand……The day it closed I was the projectionist on duty. That year….the mayor was trying to clean the city of porn. So if a theater was raided they’d arrest the cashier or manager. Well the licence board came up with a new law….instead of the manager or cashier, they would go after the owner of the business. That same afternoon the law was passed the owner came in told me to turn the film off…the audiance got their money back and told to leave… and that was the end of the Strand showing films. The last few years of its life it was actually twined. Under the balcony was walled in making 2 small auditoriums, the balcony the stage and stage fittings were left all intact, I actually went back stage once and awhile turning the lights up exploring. When it was twinned they left the original equipment in the booth upstairs, they figured it would be to much trouble to move down. Another interesting story…when the theater was a single, they decided to motorize the main curtain. Well the stage hand union told them… no you need a union stagehand to open and close the curtain for each show. Well that was the day the curtain opened……and never closed again.
The Dalton…my first offical job as a union projectionist. It was summer daily matinees with all Disney films. Joe Jarvis had the lease and his son helped him run it. It was a very attractive building. Had a cryroom next to the projection room. The projection room was quite large with a window overlooking Pawtucket Ave.
I had the pleasure of owning and operating this theater. We bought it in 1983 from the SBC corp. for $150000(wow) which also ran the Cinerama Theater now a CVS. We owned it from 1983 until 2000. It was a single screen until SBC twined it in the early 70s. In 1989 we made use of the balcony as a third screen. The building opened Thanksgiving weekend 1926. I actually have a flier from that date, a customer gave to me. Unfortunately due to a decline in the neighborhood, the time we had to wait to get product and the mall with its new 16 screens……it was time to sell. Sad to see the marquee was removed, but the two terracotta lion heads are still guarding the building……….